After repeatedly kicking myself for not going to see The Wooden Sky last time they were in Toronto (with awesome Vancouver rockers Yukon Blonde, no less), I made sure I had tickets to their Opera House show (seriously. The second they announced tour dates I bought tickets. I was not taking any chances).  And after months (I told you I wasn’t taking any chances!) of waiting, the night finally arrived.

In my first few years of, shall we say, musical adulthood (by which I mean I grew into my musical tastes and stopped considering Coldplay to be the best band in the world), I had heard of, but not heard, The Wooden Sky. They were one of those bands everybody talked about and that I was sure I would like, yet somehow I never got around to actually checking them out. One day, though, I bit the bullet and took a listen. The first song I played was “Oh My God” from their second album, If I Don’t Come Home, You’ll Know I’m Gone. And just like that, I was hooked. What I immediately appreciated about The Wooden Sky’s music was its honesty, its sensitivity, and its beauty.

As life proves to us again and again, things never quite go the way you think they will, and the night of the show was no exception. By the time the Toronto folk band hit the stage I was mad at a friend for bailing (don’t worry, another one came with me), and incredibly uneasy because my roommate told me a strange man had been lurking outside our house (LEAVE US ALONE, MISTER). Despite having been so excited about the show, I found myself pouting. How dare life throw this stuff at me on this Holy Night of Nights? After grumbling through the first two songs, though, I put my phone away—lame excuses from friends and thoughts of creepy men, you can wait—and finally let the music do what it always has: make me feel better.

What I immediately appreciated about their live show was that they sounded just as good in person as on record (which, as we all know, is not always the case). Playing a solid mix of songs from their newest release, the addictive Every Child A Daughter, Every Moon A Sun, the aforementioned If I Don’t Come Home, You’ll Know I’m Gone, and their still-awesome debut album, When Lost At Sea, I felt completely fulfilled by their performance. Their main set was long (which is also, annoyingly, not always the case these days), as was their encore. The sold-out crowd, so happy to have their boys to themselves again, insisted on a second encore. The band rocked out to Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’ “American Girl,” proving that while their choice of songwriting is on the softer side, they still know how to jam. *Fun fact: It was around this time that my friend discovered that the tall can of Canadian she’d bought at the bar was a Vancouver 2010 Olympic games edition. It’s okay, though, I spoke with her the day after the concert. She is still breathing.*

At one point in the evening lead singer Gavin Gardiner said that it was really good to be home. And as if I haven’t gushed enough yet, let me just say that I think it’s pretty clear we’re always happy to have them back.

~ Sara Harowitz